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iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide (3rd Edition) Paperback – Mar 19 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Big Nerd Ranch Guides; 3 edition (March 19 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321821521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321821522
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 3.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 358 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #177,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

 Joe Conway is the senior iOS instructor at Big Nerd Ranch and has been consulting on the iOS platform since its creation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, he has been writing Objective-C and Cocoa code since the dawn of OS X. Joe wrote the materials for the exceptionally popular Big Nerd Ranch iOS Bootcamp course, on which this book is based.

 Aaron Hillegass, a former employee of NeXT and Apple, has nearly two decades experience programming and teaching Objective-C, Cocoa, and more recently, iOS. In 2001, Aaron founded Big Nerd Ranch and began developing intensive courses that teach programming in a focused, distraction-free environment. Aaron is also the author of Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide and Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X.


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This is not a reference book, but rather a tutorial that gently introduces you to programming on the iOS platform.

It doesn't promise much depth, but rather touches on everything you need to get a robust, very functional iOS app developed in very short time. That being said, I DID use this book as a reference, bouncing between chapters as I needed, but I would not recommend that method unless you've done a lot of development on many different platforms. Best to follow the author's advice and do the challenges at the end of each chapter; it's how you learned at school and how you'll learn now.

iOS is a platform; Objective-C is a language. Supported by my existing knowledge of Objective-C (having read a book on that language two years ago), this was the most enjoyable book I've read in the last few years. If you have never seen Objective-C before, you'll probably get frustrated without the aid of a Objective-C specific book.

At the end of the book, I found this bit of honesty refreshing:

"You are an iOS developer.
... You are probably not a very good iOS developer."

No book will make you a great developer. Via code (and lots of it), you have to plan, prototype, develop, test, deploy, accept feedback and loop around again (and again). That's how you become a great developer. Commit to it.

Warning: Apple is constantly evolving (a good thing) the process to get your app into the AppStore, so this book wisely directs you to online Apple documentation. Getting my app into the AppStore was the most frustrating part of this process, but that in no way is a reflection on the outstanding quality of this book.
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I'd gotten about six to eight weeks into Stanford's CS193P course (Fall 2011) when this book arrived, and while that course was decent, this book introduced a much-appreciated breath of fresh air and enthusiasm into the learning process. I like the steady progression of this book, the regular coding projects, the end-of-chapter challenges, and the detail. While, as the book says, it's no substitute for making your own original projects, it's a great teacher of fundamentals and I have been thoroughly enjoying it.

NOTE: Currently at p. 131 of 569.
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This is the fourth book that I order about Objective-C and Cocoa for iOS. I'm happy to say that this is the best one, hands down. The first chapter is very intuitive and already jumps right into the topic. I was pleased to see that it already answered a few questions that I had gathered from my previous readings. Overall, it's an awesome book with lots of schemes and code examples. It really covers the whole subject from A to Z. I also love the plastic feel of the cover.
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This is a good book for c/c++ coders that are new to objective-c and cocoa. It has enough detail to help you build your first app, and then some. Viewcontrollers, uiviews, and uitableviews are demystified, and the sample projects help make it clear. This will get you going if you are lost on all those double brackets.
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